Unlike some other products that have leaked ahead of time, the mythical Apple Tablet follows in the footsteps of 2007’s iPhone.  For now, it seems nobody outside of Cupertino has gotten a glimpse of what they’ve got planned.  Gawker Media, specifically Valleywag, has set in motion a plan to expose any leaks in an attempt to give the world the first look at one of the most speculated products in the industry.

valleywagtabletbountyYesterday, Valleywag announced its Apple Tablet “scavenger hunt” with rewards ranging up to a hefty sum of $100,000 if an insider lets them toy around with the device for an hour. Smaller, more likely rewards include $10,000 for pictures, $20,000 for video of it in action, and $50,000 for pictures or video of Steve Jobs holding his precious.   They’re sick of all the speculation and want some real, credible information.  TechCrunch has already raised the question of legality surrounding Valleywag’s incentives for inducing break of contract (Apple loves nondisclosure agreements).

For a second, lets say Gawker Media’s got a defense lined up.  There’s absolutely no way the $100,000 prize will be claimed. Supposed there are 5 or so prototypes floating around.  You can be sure prototypes can’t leave the campus and even more sure that time spent with working models is under 24/7 surveillance.  I’d even go so far as to say that none of these bounties will be paid out.  When you’ve got such a small team that’s actually working on the device itself, those highest up know who has and hasn’t had access and for how long.  How many Apple employees are willing to risk their jobs and their money for a chance at what they probably make in one year?

Through years of experience, Apple’s got their secrecy techniques down to a science.  Is information that will be unveiled to the world in less than 2 weeks really worth $100,000?  Do they expect the added publicity and credibility to amount to what they’re paying?  Either way, expect “pictures” to be submitted and it’d be interesting to see them all exposed, real or not.  Do you think a leak will slip through?  Place your bets in the comments.